Three-time gold medalist will defend title

Updated: August 16, 2004, 11:20 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel will defend her Olympic time-trial title Wednesday despite the heavy bruises on arms hip and neck sustained in a high-speed crash during the weekend road race.

"In a time trial everything hurts anyway so that won't make that much of a difference,'' the Sydney Games' triple gold medalist said.

The Dutchwoman crashed Sunday in the final stages of the road race, ending her hopes of adding another gold medal in the event. She also won the time trial and individual pursuit in Sydney four years ago.

Zijlaard-van Moorsel was racing at high speed with almost 17 miles to go when she looked behind her, touched the bike of the rider in front of her and went down, dragging three other riders with her.

"I should not have done that,'' she joked.

It was unclear until Monday whether she would be fit enough to continue at the Olympics. Zijlaard-van Moorsel spent 45 minutes training Monday and planned to explore the time trial course along the scenic, jagged coastline of Vouliagmeni on the outskirts of Athens on Tuesday.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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